AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo Public Health Department is reminding the community that as cold and flu season approaches, there are different options to help the public stay safe and healthy this season.
Officials with the department noted that RSV, flu, and COVID-19 vaccines are available at pharmacies throughout the community including The United Family locations.
RSV, the department added, affects all ages and is especially dangerous for young children and older adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that those who are 32 weeks through 36 weeks pregnant get one seasonal dose of the RSV vaccine in order to maximize protection for babies after birth.
The department advised parents and guardians to inquire with their infant’s pediatrician about the “advance antibody treatment that prevents severe RSV effects.”
The department added that there are ways to minimize the severity of the flu which in turn can reduce the need for medical treatment and hospitalization. The flu vaccine can reduce the risk of going to the doctor by 53%, according to the department, and reduce the number of hospital visits and days taken off from work and school.
The department suggested that ages 6 months and older should receive the flu vaccine by the end of October.
As it pertains to COVID-19, there are tools that can be utilized in order to avoid serious illness, hospitalization, long COVID symptoms, and more caused by COVID-19. The current COVID-19 vaccines, the department detailed, are better matched to the latest virus that is moving throughout the nation.
The COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for ages 6 months and older. Most insurance plans cover the cost of the vaccine, however, those who are not cost-covered can receive the updated vaccine here or at a mobile vaccine clinic for free, the department said.
The department said the CDC has noted that the flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be received at the same appointment and that individuals should consult with a local healthcare provider or pharmacy for further questions.
The department went on to advise the community that it’s important to take preventive measures to stay safe and healthy including staying away from people who are sick, covering the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, and often washing the hands to slow the spread of harmful bacteria.
Visit Covid.gov/tests to request four free COVID rapid test that can be delivered to the home.